Episode #542

Pundit, Joni, Cakewalk

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Saturday, October 16, 2004

Kurt Andersen and comedian Amy Poehler talk about parody and how artists use it to flatter, mock and entertain. Joni Mitchell tells us about seeing a six-foot man in a dress singing her songs on stage — and cheering him on. And we’ll hear from two writers who were so bored by the directors' commentaries on DVDs they decided to write their own, in the voices of Ann Coulter and Noam Chomsky. Plus, Sally Jessy Raphael tells us why she loves her Smart Car.


Amy Poehler

Johnny Loves Joni

For nearly 20 years, John Kelly has been performing as Joni Mitchell. In heels and a blond wig, the 6-foot-tall Kelly takes to the stage and sings for an adoring audience — an audience that occasionally includes Mitchell herself. Mitchell tells Sharon Lerner what it’s like to watch ...


Pundit Parody

Ever wonder what Ann Coulter thinks about Aliens the Movie? Writers Tom Bissell and Jeff Alexander have. Bored with uninteresting DVD commentaries they began writing their own, imagining what political pundits such as Noam Chomsky and Dinesh D'souza would have to say about hit movies. Produced by Derek John.



Some parodies are so clever that those being mocked don’t even realize. The cakewalk dance was created by African American slaves to poke fun of their masters. The masters watched with delight, and years later, vaudeville performers — white men in blackface — started performing the cakewalk in their shows. ...


Design for the Real World: Smart Car

The tiny Smart Car is a common sight in Europe. But here in the U.S. you’re more likely to see the distinctive car at the Museum of Modern Art than on the road. Still, some Smart Car enthusiasts are importing the tiny two-door. Sally Jessy Raphael tells Ilya ...


Commentary: Eat the Taste

Greg Kotis' play Eat the Taste is a great piece of political art: the play is an over-the-top farce where the playwright — playing himself — is kidnapped and interrogated by federal agents. It's 2008 and they're after one thing: getting Kotis to write a new music about and starring John ...


Special Guest: Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler is an actor and comedian. She became a featured player on Saturday Night Live in 2001, and officially joined the cast in 2002. Her impersonations of celebrities like Kelly Ripa, Sharon Stone and Sharon Osbourne have become SNL favorites. Poehler also performs with the Upright Citizens ...


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